Seven questions to ask when selecting directors for an early-stage growth company
Founder & Managing Partner at Better Boards, Dr Sabine Dembkowski, shares insights into setting up a board and selecting directors in an early-stage growth company.
Historically, the search for board members in small early-stage growth companies is limited to the personal networks of the founders and those already in the organisation. It is a convenient approach that ensures that founders remain in their comfort zone at the expense of creating value. The role of a board varies throughout the various growth stages. In an early-stage growth company, a board has more the role of a resource rather than control.
To ensure that your board is able to fulfill this role, asking these seven questions is an important place to start:
- Can the directors bring relevant and valuable connections to the table to help the company generate revenues, accelerate hiring, and/or unlock partnership opportunities?
- Do the directors add credibility to what you are doing? Or is it the other way around that you give them credibility? If it is the former, it sends a strong signal to customers, partners, and potential investors that your company does not only know what it is doing but that other respected names in the industry believe in you.
- Have the directors "been there" and "done it" in your market or a market relevant to yours? If they have, it can help speed up decision-making processes, avoid pitfalls, and serve as a sounding board for new ideas.
- Do the directors have a financial background and can help you raising funds and match the amount and types of capital with the company's strategy and objectives?
- Do the directors share your values? The multibillion-dollar wealth of some tech entrepreneurs can easily cloud the vision. It is a bumpy road with many ups and downs. So, it is important that you share the same values that allow you to go through the lows and enjoy heights.
- This one relates to the question of the values. If the central role of a board is that of a resource, you need to ask: Do you feel comfortable using the irectors as a sounding board? It can be lonely at the top. The right directors can provide strategic and operational advice, savvy business judgment, good governance and financial insight if you feel comfortable with them.
- Last but not least, are the directors aligned with you about the purpose of the board? If you set up the board in the belief that it is a resource and the directors believe that their role is that of control, conflicts are eminent.
Latest News from
Defence and Security SME Forum Survey Results24/09/2021 16:25:00
Over the summer, techUK’s Defence and Security SME Forum asked the SME community within techUK's membership to take part in a survey examining engagement with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD).
UK National AI Strategy24/09/2021 11:25:00
Summary of major announcements from the UK Government's National AI Strategy.
Inclusive Economy Partnership (IEP) and Dell Technologies launch the Digital Inclusion Impact Group23/09/2021 15:15:00
techUK is a part of a group of industry, government, and civil society leaders to tackle digital exclusion in the UK.
Tackling greenwashing: CMA published new guidance on green claims21/09/2021 14:15:00
Companies have until the New Year to address potentially misleading claims
techUK industry briefing with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority21/09/2021 12:05:00
Insights from the GMCA Digital team
MHRA announce consultation on the future regulation of medical devices20/09/2021 16:20:00
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is inviting members of the public to provide their views on possible changes to the regulatory framework for medical devices in the UK, aiming to develop a new regime for medical devices.
Tech Industry Gold accreditation extended to training programmes to help tackle digital skills shortages20/09/2021 15:20:00
TechSkills announces FDM as first to achieve Tech Industry Gold accreditation for training programmes.
Over a third of tech firms join Race to Zero campaign20/09/2021 13:15:00
Over a third of tech firms join Race to Zero campaign